When Amazon reported net sales of $107 billion for 2015, it had fantastic growth in North America to thank. Over the past three years, the Seattle-based company, already the dominant force in the region, has added $22 billion in sales in North America. Last year the market contributed 60 percent of all of its sales.
Overseas, the company (which we ranked no. 1 on our 2016 list of the 50 Smartest Companies) has been selling more too, but making less money doing so. In part, profits have been reduced by currency differences, but Amazon has also been carrying out an expensive plan to expand its fulfillment capacity around the world.
That global investing is starting to pay off in India, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Amazon has said it would invest $5 billion in the market, which today has only 40 million online shoppers out of a population of 1.2 billion. As a result, it’s now gaining on local rival Flipkart Internet, long the largest online retailer in India.
Amazon appears to have learned some valuable lessons in its struggle in the otherwise booming Chinese online shopping market, and it is now determined not to repeat them. The company never managed to establish a strong presence against local giants Alibaba and JD.com, which CEO Jeff Bezos has blamed on not doing enough to customize its offerings to the local market.
In India, the company still prides itself on its fulfillment prowess and recommendation engine, two features it’s known for around the world. But it has also been trying out local adaptations, such as motorcycle delivery men who will accept cash on delivery—useful for the many people in India who do not use credit cards.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.